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Imagine that you are the director of ‘Request Stop’ ; think of two different interpretations, and give advice to the actress as to how to play the main role.

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Request Stop - By Harold Pinter G.C.S.E 20th Century Drama Coursework. Imagine that you are the director of 'Request Stop' ; think of two different interpretations, and give advice to the actress as to how to play the main role. Request Stop is a short sketch written by Harold Pinter, a political poet, author, and playwright. This particular piece was written in 1953. A typical bus queue of the period would have been much the same as today, quiet and fairly antisocial, with people hiding behind broadsheets and magazines. The modern bus queue is boring. Nobody talks, except maybe for friends who are waiting, and everybody seems to not want to be there. The woman at the bus stop is somewhat of a mystery. There are a great many things that she could be. She could be an entertainer, livening up a bus queue by talking to everyone and anyone (even though she talks to one man, the whole queue is hearing her). She seems fun, lively, and talkative with her confident outbursts and taking offence at the smallest thing, then making a scene about it. Taking the idea that she is an entertainer, how would be advise the actress as to how to play the role? ...read more.


The second possibility for the character of the woman, is that she is a sad character, and this is a tragic sketch. The title of the play fits in with this (Request stop, beggars request, or beg, for things.), it may have a double meaning. The woman could be requesting a number of things. Money, gifts, possibly conversation or friendship. The entire play's structure is based upon a request, then a pause, "I beg your pardon, what did you say? Pause," and "Who do you think you are? Pause." She talks more after each pause, with the height of her tirade reaching eight lines. The people ignoring her aggravating and antagonistic behaviour seem to suggest that she is socially alienated. This point is lent credence by the fact that, whilst her character is called 'Woman', another female character is referred to as 'Lady' (it is important to note that the woman also refers to her as 'lady'.). Since she is being ignored, she seems to create a two way conversation where perhaps one doesn't exist, "Ask a man a civil question..." The people on the bus queue also seem desperate to escape her. The lady pays a lot more for a taxi to escape the attentions of the woman when she is asked to be a witness, much to the woman's annoyance, "We know ...read more.


If she is a tramp then layers of torn clothing would be appropriate. Her energy would come in bouts - she could be loud one minute, and quiet the next. Also her mood would change from one emotional extreme to the next, if she is an alcoholic or a mentally ill person. She could be placid at the beginning, then infuriated at the next sentence, then back to passive again later. She does not seem to be in control of herself, or the environment around her. This could be shown by the actress playing with her hair, or pulling sleeves on her shirt. Her running back to the front of the line near the end seems to be her attempt to insert assertiveness into her life, which suggests she leads a lacklustre life. The actress could bring this out. In conclusion, I would probably direct the actress and advise her to play the Sad/Tragic aspect of the character. It seems to fit the piece better, and leaves a lot more scope for acting than the street entertainer option. The play would seem a lot more believable, and would relate to modern day life a lot better, especially with today's audience. Because we have all been one of the queue at one point or another in our life, and this serves as a bitter reminder of that. James Rundle, 11.3T Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

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